US Social Forum Demands An End To Attacks On Zapatista Communities
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
* It recognizes the EZLN’s contribution to a world resistance movement
The United States Social Forum, held recently in the city of Detroit, Michigan, emitted a Declaration of support to the Zapatista communities in Mexico, which recognizes the EZLN’s contributions to resistance and liberation movements in the world and demands that military, police and paramilitary aggressions stop against the indigenous peoples of Chiapas.
“The Zapatistas have been a great inspiration for those from below in the world. They have achieved constructing autonomy and really practice democracy and exercise self-determination in their communities. They show that it is indeed possible to create that Other World that we want,” the Social Forum recognizes.
Their autonomy, adds the declaration, “infuriates the servants of the capitalist system that become bad governments. Those federal, state, and municipal governments use their Army, police forces and paramilitary groups to attempt to destroy autonomy and exterminate the dignified indigenous Zapatista peoples.”
The US pronouncement points out that, recently, Zapatista support bases have resisted attacks, harassment and provocations in the communities of Bolón Ajaw, Laguna de San Pedro, Santo Domingo, Casa Blanca, Peña Limonar, Choles de Tumbalá and El Pozo.
“The three levels of power use different paramilitary groups, like the Opddic and the Army of God, to repress the communities. They do it because the Zapatistas exercise their right to be autonomous and not let the bad government steal from them. The bad government acts that way for the purpose of evicting them from their lands, taking possession of them and constructing tourist zones to benefit the rich and those from above.”
Therefore, “we, as members of US national civil society united in the United States Social Forum 2010, declare that the Zapatistas are not alone and ratify our commitment to be on alert and denounce the grave violations that are happening in Chiapas.”
The USSF denounced: “the alarming increase in the offensive against the Zapatista movement in southeast Mexico, evidenced by the increase of counterinsurgency activities.” Placing responsibility on the three levels of government (federal, state and municipal) for the repressive attacks against indigenous communities’ autonomy, it demanded “respect for the Zapatistas’ autonomy and free self-determination” and an end to the repression of which they are the object.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada on July 1, 2010. See: